Being an avid home cook, over the years I have tried many chicken and dumplings recipes; including both of my grandmother’s versions.
Although this recipe is simple, it does take about 90 minutes but the deep, full flavor will be so worth it on a cool autumn evening.
The key is cooking not only thighs but also wings. If you prefer white meat, you can substitute the thighs for breast, however, you will sacrifice some flavor.
My husband is NOT a fan of leftovers; however, THIS chicken and dumplings, he REQUESTED to take for lunch leftovers.
To make the stew:
2 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 teaspoon table salt & ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels; season both sides with the salt & pepper.
Place a large dutch oven over medium-high heat adding
3 teaspoons of vegetable oil.
Make sure your pot has a good lid.
I used my 3-Quart Enamel Cast Iron Lodge Pot.
Heat till shimmering.
Add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook until crispy brown, approximately 5-7 minutes.
Using tongs, turn over the chicken pieces, browning the other side, approximately 5-7 minutes.
Once brown on both sides, remove and place on a large plate to rest.
Remove all but 1 teaspoon of the residual fat from the pot.
Continue with stew ingredients:
2 small onions, minced or chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled and cut into about 3/4” pieces
1 celery rib, chopped fine
Add all into the pot, set to medium-high heat. Stirring frequently until onions are slightly brown and cooked through; 7-9 minutes.
Add ¼ cup of dry sherry to deglaze the pot. This means just stirring it in, scraping up all the brown bits of chicken accumulated in the pot.
6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon of dried thyme
are added to the pot.
Slowly stir in; combining all ingredients
Return the chicken thighs and any accumulated juices to the pot
Add 1 pound of chicken wings
Bring the pot to a simmer and cook until the thigh meat is cooked through.
About 45-55 minutes.
To test the doneness of the chicken:
poke with a pairing knife.
If the meat offers no resistance, but still clings to the bone
it is done!
Remove the pot from the heat.
Transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board
Allow the broth to settle for about 5 minutes.
After the broth has settled, using a wide spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the broth – discard.
When meat is cool enough, break apart meat from the bones.
Discard bones and skin from meat.
Cut or break up meat into small, bite-size pieces.
Return meat to the pot.
Prepare the dumplings:
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon of table salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of COLD buttermilk
4 Tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter, which has cooled to room temperature
1 large egg white only
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt & baking soda in a large bowl.
Combine the buttermilk and butter in a separate bowl, stirring until the butter forms small clumps.
Whisk in the egg white to the milk.
Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated and the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
The batter should be sticky.
Return the stew to a simmer on medium heat.
Stir in ¼ cup of chopped parsley.
I use these neat fresh cups of herbs when fresh herbs are not available.
Using a tablespoon, pick up a small heaping spoon full of batter.
Drop batter on the surface of stew, using a finger to push the batter off the spoon.
Space the dumplings about 1/4” apart, if possible.
After dropping in all the dumplings, place a clean kitchen towel over the top of the pot.
Make sure to keep the towel AWAY from the heat source.
Cover the pot.
Simmer gently until dumplings have doubled in size and appear to have cooked through.
About 15-20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy immediately.